Northern Rock Partners with to Offer Exclusive Online ISA

Northern Rock is offering a top-paying online cash ISA to complement its competitive portfolio of branch, postal and online savings accounts. This ISA is exclusively available through and pays 3.05% tax-free* pa/AER** variable, with no bonus rate attached.

The exclusive Online ISA offers those who prefer to operate their accounts via the internet an instant access option for their tax-free* savings, and can be opened with no minimum initial deposit.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at, said: “If you’re a UK taxpayer then it is important to make full use of your annual tax free allowance so you can make the most of your money.

“Not only is it important to make sure you find the best deal for your current savings needs, but you should always remember existing savings invested in ISAs elsewhere, which could be languishing on a poor rate.

“Moving existing savings into an account, such as Northern Rock’s Online ISA which allows transfers of existing funds, can be beneficial but make sure you follow the proper ISA transfer procedures otherwise you will lose the tax free status on your savings.”

Interest, which can be added to the account or paid into another account, is paid annually on 11 March on minimum balances of £1 (balances which fall below this amount will earn Northern Rock’s prevailing rate of interest, 0.10% tax free* pa /AER**).

Strictly a limited issue, the variable rate Online ISA allows transfers in from other providers and additional deposits can be made to the cash ISA, within HM Revenue and Customs limits (£5,340 pa from 6 April 2011) up to 30 days after the product is withdrawn.

After this time, no further deposits will be accepted and this issue may be withdrawn without notice once fully subscribed.

Minimum withdrawals of £1 by BACS and £250 by CHAPS can be made from the account; however the customer will lose the tax free status on the amount withdrawn. There is a £35 fee for transfers out via CHAPS.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Finds UK Drivers Are Divided On Government’s New Roadworks Idea has polled 2000 drivers, asking their opinions on a new idea from the UK government which could help tackle the problem of roadworks and the resulting traffic jams. The proposal suggests that utility companies could pay a ‘lane rental’ fee to the council if they choose to dig up the road during busy times*.

UK motorists are divided on the proposal with almost half(49%) saying it’s a good plan and that they can’t wait to see it happen and the other half (48%) feeling that it’s not a good idea because utility companies who choose to pay the bills will pass these costs onto the consumer. The remainder were undecided.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at said: “If these proposals reduce traffic jams then car owners will have something to smile about. Financially it’s been a tough few years for drivers. Consumers are paying an average of £858 for annual comprehensive cover, having seen an increase of £22 in just three months and £170 over 12 months**. Car owners really deserve a break and roads that run freely will be welcomed by anyone regularly blighted by queues.

“The ‘lane rental’ fees could be a good incentive for companies to complete jobs more quickly reducing the potentially dangerous and infuriating situations that roadworks can create.”

Lisa Greenfield, Energy expert at added: “With UK energy companies having recently hiked up their prices, the last thing that customers want is any sort of extra ‘tax’ which may end up being paid by the customer. If this proposal goes ahead then UK households will be hoping that utility companies choose to work outside of peak hours and not pay the charges because any further hikes in utility costs would be unpleasant.”.

Regionally, Londoners are most in favour of the plans with more than 52% agreeing that they are a good idea.

Via EPR Network
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Payday Express Keeps Staff Motivated With Seasonal Incentives

Short term loans provider Payday Express has revealed that high staff morale is an essential ingredient in its recipe for success, with senior managers and team leaders dedicating a huge amount of time and effort to devising and running incentive schemes.

The latest initiative within the Contact Centre and Collections departments of the instant approval payday loans company has a barbeque theme, to celebrate the last weeks of summer, with plenty of prizes available to win on a daily basis.

Created by Operations Manager Sarah Carroll and the departments’ team leaders, the barbeque incentive involves giving away items such as drinks, snacks, picnic blankets, cooking accessories and even actual barbeques to top-performing agents within each team.

Sarah Carroll said: “The prizes have been displayed around the office in recent weeks, giving it a fun and summery vibe and encouraging staff to work hard towards earning them.

“It’s important to keep staff enthusiastic at work. We like to think of different incentives to introduce a bit of excitement and competition into their day, which increases job satisfaction and ultimately productivity, keeping staff, managers and customers happy.”

Collections Agent Steve Marshall agrees: “These incentives are great, as they boost staff morale. They also create healthy competition and a positive atmosphere and working environment – and add a little excitement and variety to the working day.”

Previous schemes at the payday advance loans company have drawn inspiration from popular events such as the Grand National and television shows like Family Fortunes; and also included fun activities such as Easter egg hunts.

One of the most successful incentives was held during last year’s football World Cup, when high-performing staff members were offered the opportunity to challenge managers to a dance or sporting competition on a Wii games console – with the eventual aim of winning one of their own.

Via EPR Network
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Saxo Bank Announces New Shareholder

Saxo Bank is pleased to announce that TPG Capital, one of the world’s leading investment firms, will become a major shareholder in Saxo Bank. Following the signing of a purchase agreement, a TPG Capital affiliate will acquire a 30% stake in the Company (along with an option to increase its stake to 40%) from existing investors, including General Atlantic, a global growth investor and Banco Espirito Santo, a leading Portuguese bank, amongst others. The founders, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen will retain majority ownership and continue in their roles as CEOs, also in the event that TPG Capital exercises its option to acquire 40%. TPG Capital’s investment is subject to customary regulatory and competition authority approvals.

General Atlantic invested in Saxo Bank in 2005 and both Espirito Santo Financial Group and Banco Espirito Santo invested in Saxo Bank in 2008. Banco Espirito Santo will continue to build the commercial cooperation that the bank has had with Saxo Bank since 2008, namely through Banco BEST that is owned by both entities.

Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, founders, CEOs and majority shareholders in Saxo Bank said in a joint statement: “We are delighted to welcome one of the world’s leading investment firms as a major shareholder and business partner. This new phase in Saxo Bank’s growth stems from the strong foundation built with the support from our selling shareholders, who have shared in our success to date. We remain enthusiastic about Saxo Bank’s future and look forward to working with TPG Capital to capitalise on the many opportunities ahead.”

Asiff Hirji, Partner at TPG Capital said: “Saxo Bank has achieved impressive growth and we look forward to supporting the future diversification strategy. TPG Capital has a strong track record of investing in and growing financial services businesses, particularly those seeking further expansion in emerging markets, where we see tremendous opportunities for Saxo Bank. We look forward to working with its two founders and CEOs.”

Bill Ford, CEO of General Atlantic and Ricardo Salgado, CEO of Banco Espirito said in a joint statement: “We have been pleased with our partnership with Saxo Bank over the last several years and consider this a very successful investment.”

Via EPR Network
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Northern Rock Adopts QR Technology As It Adds Three New Accounts

Northern Rock has launched three new competitive instant access savings accounts, adding further options to its flexible savings range. To make it easier to navigate to the relevant product pages on its award-winning website, Quick Response (QR) codes have also been introduced on selected new product adverts.

For those who are looking for a straightforward, instant-access savings account which can be operated in branch, by post or by phone, Everyday Access offers the interest rate of 2.05% gross* pa/AER** variable on balances over £1, with no bonus rate attached. (Balances falling below this rate will receive Northern Rock’s prevailing rate of interest which is 0.10% gross* pa/AER** variable). Alternatively, customers may wish to opt for the monthly interest rate of 2.03% gross* variable (2.05% AER**).

The account can be opened and operated with a minimum balance of £1. Additional deposits can be made up to the maximum balance of £250,000. Only one account per customer per issue is allowed.

For those who prefer the convenience of the internet with which to manage their instant-access savings, Everyday Access Online, which is also available to open with a minimum deposit of £1 (or £250 by cheque) and pays a competitive interest rate of 2.75% gross* pa/AER** variable on balances over £1. (Balances falling below this rate will receive Northern Rock’s prevailing rate of interest which is 0.10% gross* pa/AER** variable).

Those who prefer a monthly interest option can choose to receive 2.72% gross* variable (2.75% AER**), and additional deposits can be made up to the maximum balance of £100,000. Only one account per customer per issue is allowed.

Finally, for those looking for an instant access account which they can manage by post from the comfort of their own home, Saver Reward offers a market-leading rate and can be opened with a minimum deposit of £1,000. The account can be opened by post or by telephone (a nil balance is permitted if opening by telephone prior to an electronic transfer) but once opened the account must be operated via the postal channel.

As part of the launch of Saver Reward, Northern Rock will also be introducing Quick Response (QR) codes to its advertising. These codes will allow consumers to navigate straight to the relevant product page of the Northern Rock website using their smartphone.

Via EPR Network
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Business Monitor International Releases The Latest Analysis Of China’s Mining Industry

Business Monitor International (BMI) has published its latest China Mining Report, which forecasts annual average industry growth of 9.1% in real terms from 2011 to 2015, with production of bauxite, copper, tin and gold set to rise fastest. By the end of this period, the value of China’s mining industry will reach US$606bn. Industry-wide energy efficiency and consolidation measures introduced by the government as part of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) will be the key drivers of growth.

BMI expects the industry to see further consolidation as government involvement increases, resulting in the closure of underperforming smaller mines and pressure on the country’s largest operations to improve efficiency and boost productivity.

The Report provides key forecasts and in-depth analysis of China’s mining industry, covering mining reserves, supply, demand and prices, plus analysis of landmark company developments, expansion plans and significant changes in the regulatory environment. Moreover, it features BMI’s mining and commodity forecasts to end-2015 for metals, minerals and gems.

China, India and Australia have become global leaders in gold, lead, zinc, bauxite and iron ore production over the last decade, strengthening Asia’s position as a dominant global mining player. That said, BMI forecasts Indonesia to become increasingly important a regional hub for mining production as domestic companies develop the country’s mining reserves. Indonesia’s mining industry is set for rapid growth as the country continues to attract investment in coal, nickel and tin sectors.

BMI’s portfolio of products and services provides comprehensive analysis of the global mining industry and enables industry professionals, strategists, sector analysts, investors and commodity traders to identify key market opportunities and avoid market risks wherever they operate.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Releases Video on Meeting of Global Central Bankers, the home of Saxo Bank’s trading commentary, financial research and analysis, has released a video discussing the important meeting of a number of global central bankers at Jackson Hole in the U.S.

The state of the economy and the more active role of central banks to help rectify this means that investors are keenly interested in the fact that a number of global central bankers are meeting in Jackson Hole. There is also a lot of interest in what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will or won’t say when he addresses the meeting in a press conference.

Steen Jakobsen, chief economist, Saxo Bank, discusses his views on the market expectations and what the likely outcome of this meeting will be in’s latest video ‘Constructive Jackson Hole solution or more of the same?’

Last year, during the same meeting in a mountainside retreat, Ben Bernanke surprised everyone by announcing a second round of Quantitative Easing. With concerns about a double dip recession rising, people are expecting a big announcement this time around too. Steen Jakobsen believes that the main objective of Bernanke’s press conference will be to avoid “Japanisation”, which is a deflationary environment with low growth and low interest rates through more of the same monetary policy.

Recent data also suggests that the U.S. economy is going to need some sort of help in the form on intervention in the fourth quarter. Steen believes that even though quarter two was a failure, Bernanke will continue to defend the easing concept, despite his reputation is on the line. Bernanke is expected to claim that without the easing concept, the situation would have probably ended up being much worse.

A press conference by Jean-Claude Trichet the European Central Bank President, will follow that of Bernanke. He is also expected to defend the bank’s previous actions in raising rates, despite receiving heavy criticism that this was out of sync with the rest of Europe.

Steen states that the hope is that Trichet will now come up with some real solutions for the Eurozone’s economic problems. This should hopefully mean the Eurozone will lean more towards solidarity and consolidation, thus getting rid of the pointless political battles which have been making the problems worse.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases, The Web Site Creator, Clicks with SecureTrading, a webhost which empowers businesses to produce their own bespoke sites, has chosen SecureTrading, the UK’s leading independent payment processor, to manage its online payments processing. has a range of customers from low to high-end retailers, independent to wholesale firms.’s platforms allows users to adapt their websites over time as their business models develop. SecureTrading was selected for its ability to manage payments in one place. Thanks to SecureTrading’s flexibility,’s customers now have the option of using up to three payments processors for their integrated shopping cart, depending on the nature of their business.

Rebecca Kimber, Business Development Manager at says: “SecureTrading offers excellent customer service, something we are passionate about. We were pleased with their ability to meet our specific needs.”

This sentiment is shared by’s customer SJC Hair & Beauty whose owner Sarah Riley says: “I was impressed by the way SecureTrading talked me through the process and my requirements as well as offering extremely competitive fees. Thanks to SecureTrading, my website is now able to support credit and debit card payments, something I couldn’t do before, which has resulted in noticeably increased sales.” Established in 2009, SJC Hair & Beauty is a wholesale company of professional hair & beauty products.

Tim Allitt, Head of Sales & Marketing, SecureTrading, said, “We’re delighted to provide and its network of customers with a secure platform to process payments. We look forward to working with them in the future and helping them adapt to changing business needs.”

About was founded in Brighton in 1999 by Simon Kimber and empowers anyone, regardless of digital ability, to build compelling and engaging business websites using an innovative template system to harness their own creativity and designs. currently hosts nearly 8,000 business websites and has helped thousands more get their businesses online in the last decade.

While a freelance developer, Simon came to realise the potential of a system that could enable anyone, regardless of their technical skills or experience, to quickly build the website they want. He set about creating the business model that thousands of startups and entrepreneurs have since used to drive sales, traffic and engagement.

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Standard Life Reports Spain Tops Overseas Retirement Hotspots

Standard Life has revealed the top retirement hotspots outside the UK with the Spain at the top of the list, followed by Australia, USA, France and Ireland.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy, Standard Life commented: “Retiring abroad is a dream for many people, but does require careful planning and advice. Many people think living abroad is cheaper than living in the UK, but this isn’t always the case. Doing your homework in advance of moving, matching your retirement income and expenditure, and making the appropriate decisions around purchasing an annuity or using income drawdown are key considerations. Your retirement income could also be subject to exchange rates and currency fluctuations, as well as local tax laws.

“You also need to think about your state pension and what, if any, reciprocal agreement is in place. A reciprocal agreement entitles you to any increases in the UK state pension paid for by the country you retire to. However, if there isn’t a reciprocal agreement in place, then you need to be very careful your retirement income is sufficient to cover your living costs over a long period of time. Over a 20 year retirement, your basic state UK pension could halve in real terms if a reciprocal arrangement is not in place.”

If an individual moves abroad permanently, any increases in their UK state pension will only apply if they are living in an EU country (including Gibraltar and Switzerland), or a country with a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK. Where the individual is living outside these countries, the amount of UK state pension they will receive each year is frozen at the amount initially paid when first claimed (or if the pensioner emigrated more than one year after payment began, at the rate in force when emigrating). Popular retirement countries outside these reciprocal agreements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Those who are considering retiring abroad in the future, but are wondering if their retirement savings will be sufficient can go to, where they can check if their retirement planning is on track.

Via EPR Network
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Payday Express Remains Strict on Fraud

The Fraud Liaison Team at short-term loans provider Payday Express has spoken out to warn potential fraudsters that just because customers can expect a quick service online, it does not mean that security will be compromised – and offenders will be prosecuted wherever possible.

Much of the payday loan industry has risen to meet customer demand for speedy digital services, which do not require paper-based applications, meaning that funds for loans till payday can be received quickly – often within as little as an hour.

Such practices can attract the attention of online fraudsters, who are keen to grab credit online wherever possible without the need to forge documents. However, forward-thinking fast payday loans company Payday Express has tackled this risk head-on by implementing a variety of identity verification checks and other measures designed to prevent fraud via its online application system. This means that the vast majority of fraudulent applications are declined at the outset.

Payday Express Operations Manager Sarah Carroll said: “It is impossible to stop all fraudulent applications, but our dedicated Fraud Liaison Team is able to make life a great deal easier for anyone who has been a victim of identity theft in connection with one of applications – and a great deal harder for any criminals attempting to exploit the quick and easy online service we offer our customers.”

The Fraud Liaison team assists fraud victims, investigates suspicious circumstances, and liaises with the police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to report fraudulent activity. Reporting instances of fraud and attempted fraud helps to ensure that fraudsters are prosecuted wherever possible.

Employee Militza Smith has played an important role in the team, including assisting in breaking a fraud ring earlier this year through working with the police.

Militza said: “Seeing a fraud ring uncovered shows the value in victims of identity theft reporting the matter to the police.

“At Payday Express we work very hard to uncover any trends and links to other applications and accounts, to be able to provide as much information as possible to help the police to investigate identity theft and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals University Debt Headache For Parents

Standard Life has revealed that more than half of parents potentially underestimate the maximum amount of debt their child could leave university with.

When asked to take into account the increase in tuition fees to a maximum of £9,000 per year from 2012, and any other debts accumulated from living expenses, student loans, bank loans etc. 58 per cent of parents think the maximum debt their children could leave with is £40,000 or under, including many who think this would be a lot less. This total is well under the maximum figure of £54,000 calculated by the long-term savings and investment company Standard Life.

Despite this, a fifth (21 per cent) of parents have started to make regular savings to help ease the costs of their children’s university education, and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of parents are putting money aside on special occasions (e.g. birthdays or one-off windfalls).

Julie Hutchison, head of technical insight at Standard Life, said: “The findings of our research are positive as they show that parents have identified the need to save for their children’s time at university. Unfortunately their expectations of what that cost could be and therefore the target amount they want to save might actually be too low.”

Parents who have longer to save are taking full advantage, as more than half of parents (55 per cent) with children aged 0 to 9 are putting money aside for their child’s university costs. Conversely seven out of ten (70 per cent) parents with children aged 14 to 17 aren’t doing the same.

Julie continued: “Attending University is of course a worthwhile pursuit but can be expensive with the costs of tuition fees, living costs and course material all adding up over the years. Even though a student loan can be taken to cover all these outgoings, parents can also seriously help reduce these costs.”

More than half (53 per cent) of parents who save on a regular basis are saving less than £50 a month towards their child’s university costs, 27% are saving £50 – £100, 7 per cent are saving £101 – £200 and 4 per cent of parents are saving more than £200.

Out of the 56 per cent of parents who are not saving for their children’s university costs, almost two-thirds (63 per cent) say they can’t afford to at the moment, with one in ten (10 per cent) having just not considered it.

The research also looked at the saving attitudes of grandparents of children under 18, with one in ten (9 per cent) saving for their grandchildren’s university education on a regular basis, 16 per cent on occasions and 2 per cent as a one-off lump sum. Of those not saving, a quarter (24 per cent) have just not considered it, with 15 per cent thinking the child’s parents are saving up sufficient funds.

Regionally parents in the Midlands are saving the most with 52 per cent putting money aside for their children’s university costs. It’s followed by London (48 per cent), Scotland (44 per cent), Southern England and East of England (both 42 per cent) with the North of England saving the least (39 per cent).

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Finds 1 In 3 Young People Are More Likely To Date A Car Owner has revealed the results of a new survey that shows many young adults feel that owning a car helps to get a date. More than 1 in 3 young adults (34%) feel that young people who can drive and have a car are sexier than non-drivers, and more likely to get a boyfriend/girlfriend.

More than 1 in 3 (35%) told that having a car and being able to drive will improve the chances of getting a date. It doesn’t matter too much what kind of car it is though; only 12% of young adults admit to dating someone because of the car they drive with the majority (65%) say that it’s ‘really shallow’ to date someone because of the car they drive.

Well over 1 in 3 young adults (40%) told that they felt getting a boyfriend or girlfriend is more likely for those who have a car and can drive, while 12% think that the better the car, the better love life you have. Women are more likely than men to look for a partner who can drive, with 39% of 17-25 year olds saying they are more likely to date a driver than a non-driver, compared to just 24% of young men. 1 in 2 young men (51%) think that they are more likely to get a girlfriend or boyfriend if they have a car, compared to just 36% of young women.

When it comes to making love, 18% of young men think that the better car you drive, the better love life you have, while only 9% of women surveyed think this is true.

The cost of driving and insurance costs are the highest barriers among young people wanting to get behind the wheel; higher even than the cost of buying the car. Other common barriers, as rated by 17-25 year olds in the UK include passing the driving test, the cost of petrol and fees associated with learning to drive.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at said: “Getting a car is a sign of growing up and becoming an adult for many people in their late teens and early twenties. The cost of insurance shouldn’t stand in the way of that process. 50% of under 25s could save up to £571 on car insurance by shopping around on, leaving them more money to wine and dine a partner.”

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Pensioners Set To Lose £2.9 Billion Of Spending Power Over Next 12 Months

Prudential has reported that pensioners in the UK with additional savings held in cash ISAs, savings accounts and current accounts could see their spending power fall by an average of £278 each in the next 12 months, according to new analysis. The calculations show that the combined effects of increased inflation and low interest rates will erode pensioner buying power by a total of £2.9 billion in the coming year.

Pensioners are seeing their cost of living rise 44 per cent faster than the current rate of inflation. This is because a greater proportion of their income is spent on goods and services with prices that are rising ahead of inflation, like fuel and food.

The average pensioner has £19,664 in additional savings, but is likely to see their purchasing power fall considerably as the gap between the interest rates paid on savings and the rate of Silver RPI eats into the value of cash nest eggs in real terms.

According to recent research by Age UK, the average annual inflation recorded by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) has been 3.1 per cent in the period since January 2008. Silver RPI over the same period has averaged 4.6 per cent – resulting in an annual rate of inflation for pensioners that is nearly 50 per cent higher.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Low interest rates and rising Silver RPI mean that many pensioners are particularly feeling the squeeze, and for those who rely on interest paying savings accounts to top up their income the challenge is even greater.

“As most people in Britain feel the financial pressure of rising living costs, pensioners on fixed retirement incomes are facing even higher levels of inflation and are suffering disproportionately.

“We strongly encourage people to speak to a financial adviser to ensure they are making the best use of income-generating investments, bonds and pension funds where relevant, in order to ensure their income has the potential to rise and combat increasing inflation and living costs.”

Via EPR Network
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Northern Rock Reduces Mortgage Rates by Up to 0.90%

Northern Rock has reduced rates across its mortgage range by up to 0.90% and extended its £500 cash back incentive to include all Buy to Let (BTL) products with percentage fees.

Northern Rock’s 2-Year Everyday fixed rates with a £995 product fee now start from 2.67% for purchase and re-mortgage customers with a 30% deposit (70% LTV), a reduction of 0.32%. For those who wish to keep their costs as low as possible however, 2-year Everyday fixed rates with no product fees, start from 3.19% at 70% LTV.

Northern Rock remains committed to assisting those with smaller deposits, including First Time Buyers. It has therefore reduced selected mortgage rates across its products at 80% LTV (20% deposit required), 85% LTV (15% deposit required) and 90% LTV (10% deposit required). A 2-Year Everyday fixed rate mortgage at 90% LTV exclusively for purchase customers, is now available from just 5.25% with a £995 product fee. Customers will also qualify for £500 cash back. Or for those who choose our Fee Saver Option, the same term is available at just 5.45%.

Following demand from BTL customers who welcomed Northern Rock’s recent limited period offer of £750 cash back across the BTL range, the lender has also extended its £500 cash back incentive on selected residential products, to include all BTL products with a percentage fee.

Selected fixed rates in the Intermediary Exclusive range of mortgage products have also been reduced by up to 0.30%.

Everyday mortgages offer customers simple, straightforward mortgage deals with competitive rates and the ability to make overpayments of up to 10% each year, as well as the option to apply for payment holidays. Northern Rock continues to operate its mortgage product range within the constraints of the competitive measures agreed with the European Commission.

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Northern Rock launches new fixed rate e-ISAs

Northern Rock has launched three new online issues of its fixed rate cash e-ISA to complement its competitive portfolio of internet-based savings accounts.

e-ISA offers those who prefer to operate their accounts via the internet an online option for their tax-free* savings. e-ISA is a cash ISA set at a competitive fixed rate of interest over a choice of one, two or three years and can be opened with no minimum initial deposit.

Interest, which can be added to the account or paid into another account, is paid annually on the first business day following 5th August on minimum balances of £500 (balances which fall below this amount will earn Northern Rock’s prevailing rate of interest, 0.10% tax free* pa /AER**).

Strictly limited issues, the fixed rate cash e-ISAs (issues 19, 20 and 21) allow transfers in from other providers and additional deposits can be made to the cash ISAs, within HM Revenue and Customs limits (£5,340 per tax-year from 6 April 2011) up to 30 days after the product is withdrawn (excepting postal applications to transfer in from other banks and building society ISA accounts, which must be received while the product remains on sale).

To guarantee funds are accepted into a new account, Northern Rock advises all funds to be deposited within 30 days from the account opening date. Any deposits received after 30 days may be returned to customers. This includes any funds transferred in from an existing cash ISA, therefore customers should ensure that they initiate any Cash ISA transfers in as soon as they receive their new Cash ISA details. Subscriptions are not allowed to any other Cash ISAs in the same tax year(s) that customers subscribe to this Cash ISA, even if they have not used your full annual allowances(s).

30 days following the products withdrawal, no further deposits will be accepted and all three issues may be withdrawn without notice once fully subscribed.

Minimum withdrawals of £1 by BACS and £250 by CHAPS can be made from the account, subject to a charge equivalent to 60 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn (Issue 19), 90 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn (Issue 20), or 120 days’ loss of interest on the amount withdrawn (Issue 21). There is a £35 fee for transfers out via CHAPS.

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Business Monitor International report highlights the risks of a double-dip recession

Business Monitor International (BMI) has released its latest special report, “Market Meltdown: Global Economy On The Edge” evaluating the major risks to the world economy arising from the recent slump in global stock prices and rise in vulnerable government bond yields.

With the Eurozone affected by the on-going sovereign debt crises, the US faced with debt concerns after losing its AAA credit rating, and Japan still suffering from the consequences of March’s earthquake, the global economy is threatened by a risk of another recession.

On August 5 2011, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating for the United States to AA+ from AAA, while maintaining a negative outlook. Prior to S&P’s announcement, poor Q211 GDP data and revisions to the GDP series going back to 2010 had a significant impact on the US economic outlook. The report focuses on the recent market developments, outlines revisions to BMI’s US growth forecasts and provides insight into the US ratings downgrade. Furthermore it examines a possibility of a double-dip recession in the US.

BMI also analyses the implications of the Eurozone debt crisis for European politics, financial market strategies and the European banking sector. Considering market scepticism over the sustainability of the Eurozone, the current crises represent the biggest test for European institutions since the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and one with far graver economic implications.

Moreover, “Market Meltdown: Global Economy On The Edge” assesses the contagion risks of the eurozone and US crises for Asia; from banking sector exposure, the stress on states with weak fiscal positions, and the impact on China’s economy and the rest of the region should global trade flows be disrupted by a weakening US dollar, or lower import demand from the US and Europe.

BMI’s unique combination of global macro-economic forecasting, industry knowledge and long track-record of emerging markets forecasting enables global investors, strategists and decision-makers across the corporate spectrum to identify key market opportunities and avoid market risks wherever they operate.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases Releases Video On The Swiss Franc Dilemma, the home of Saxo Bank’s trading commentary, financial research and analysis, has released a video discussing the current dilemma involving the Swiss Franc.

The Swiss Franc has appreciated of late, and therefore so has the focus of what the Swiss Bank and the Swiss government will do to curb this strength, as it is hurting businesses and therefore the Swiss economy.

One of the steps which have been discussed the most is a peg to the Euro; however this is yet to happen, despite much speculation. With the attempts to weaken the currency’s strength possibly only providing temporary relief, it is seen as only a matter of time before more extreme measures, such as a peg to the Euro, are taken.

Ken Veksler, senior manager, Trading Advisory at Saxo Bank discusses his opinions on the likelihood of a peg to the Euro and the effect the Swiss Franc dilemma is having on the Swiss economy.

Veksler believes that a peg to the Euro is an extreme measure, and the likelihood of that happening is fairly minimal. There was a successful attempt made in 1978, where the Swiss Franc was pegged to the German Deutschmark for around 18 months, however, Veksler thinks it will be unlikely that this extreme measure will be taken again, even though the scare in the market in recent days and weeks has made it more of a serious topic than previously thought.

The Swiss government would be unhappy to put a peg to the Euro in place because it would mean a loss of its position as an independent state within a wider UN zone, which they have prided themselves on for quite some time.

Veksler believes that if the peg did come into place the Swiss Bank would have to revert to printing money to allow themselves adequate reserves to put this sort of action into place. However, this is more of a band aid for the problem rather than a full term solution.

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Saxo Bank Announces Half Year Results

Saxo Bank reported a net profit of DKK 346 million for the first six months of 2011. The result which is in line with expectations represents an increase of 375% over the second half of 2010, and a decrease of 37% compared with the first six months of 2010, where market activity and volatility were unusually high.

– Operating income DKK 1,772 million (DKK 1,992 million)
– Profit before tax DKK 474 million (DKK 729 million)
– Net profit DKK 346 million (DKK 551 million)
– Solvency ratio 12.3% (19.2%)
– Clients’ collateral deposits DKK 32,855 million (DKK 26,590 million)
– Assets under management DKK 32,357 million (DKK 24,606 million)

Saxo Bank saw a significant increase in average monthly volumes traded in CFD stock indices, single stocks and commodities, cash stocks, FX options and futures compared to the same period last year. Monthly FX volumes averaged approximately DKK 1.2 trillion in the first half of 2011, with lower trading volumes in the first quarter and a pick up in the second.

While the overall trader and investor activity level was moderate in the first half of 2011, the Bank saw continued growth in clients’ collateral deposits and assets under management, which are the foundation for future business and profits. Total assets under management in Saxo Bank’s trading business increased from DKK 31.2 billion as of 31 December 2010 to DKK 32.4 billion as of 30 June 2011. Clients’ collateral deposits in Saxo Bank’s asset management business increased from DKK 31.3 billion as of 31 December 2010 to DKK 32.9 billion as of 30 June 2011.

Operating income for the first six months of 2011 reached DKK 1,772 million for the Group. This is lower compared to the same period in 2010, but represents an increase in trading-related income following on from the second half of 2010.

Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, co-founders and CEOs of Saxo Bank, said in a joint statement: “Saxo Bank achieved a satisfactory half-year net profit fully in line with expectations, despite general market conditions which reduced risk appetite in the economy and dampened capital market activities. While keeping a close eye on overall cost developments, Saxo Bank will keep its focus on expanding our products and services as well as optimising the efficiency and profitability of our operations. Overall, we believe the Group has a solid foundation for current and future operations and we expect to continue to create value for our stakeholders.”

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Saxo Properties and Resolution Property Form a €250 Million Joint Venture

Saxo Properties, the property investment arm of Saxo Bank, the Copenhagen-based trading and investment specialist, has entered into a joint venture with Resolution Real Estate Advisers LLP “Resolution Property”, the pan European real estate fund, whose investors include some of the major US universities such as Harvard and Yale and foundations, currently has €1.5 billion of assets under management.

The Joint Venture will focus on co-investing up to approximately €250 million in the central business district of Copenhagen, targeting residential and mixed use, residential and commercial buildings which will benefit from the application of intensive asset management, including refurbishment and the repositioning of occupiers. With an in-house team of 15 highly skilled property professionals and a facilities management arm, Saxo Properties is well positioned to identify off market opportunities, and implement an asset management programme of improvements resulting in significantly enhanced returns for investors.

The new venture, which is already targeting its first purchases, will have a life of three to five years with the emphasis on income growth and capital gains.

Jesper Damborg, Chief Executive of Saxo Properties said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with Resolution Property, one of the leading pan European real estate investors, with assets across Continental Europe. The Joint Venture will seek to take advantage of carefully selected opportunities which have the potential to produce above average returns in the medium term.”

Robert Laurence, Chief Executive of Resolution Property said: “The stability of the underlying economy in Copenhagen, coupled with the opportunity to acquire good quality assets at levels representing a significant discount to their peak values, is of great appeal to us. Our Joint Venture with Saxo Properties provides a highly experienced property team at local level with an established track record of achieving good returns and an exciting opportunity for us to develop our value add real estate strategy in a new market place.”

Saxo Properties is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank and was launched in March 2010 to provide closed end funds for both high net worth clients and institutional investors, focusing on residential, office and retail property in Central Copenhagen.

Originally founded in 1998, Resolution Property, backed by a shareholder base including international private equity investors, pension funds and major US universities and foundations, is invested across continental Europe including France, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland. With a €808 million capital raising completed in 2007, Resolution Property is targeting a portfolio size over €2.6 billion.

de Morgan & Company of London, acted on behalf of Saxo Properties in the negotiations and Resolution Property was represented by Whitmarsh Holt Young along with local advisers including Plesner and Sadolin & Albæk.

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Payday Express Defies Jobs Gloom with Recruitment Drive

Recruitment of key staff members is a strategic focus of short-term loan provider Payday Express at the start of its new financial year.

A number of core positions have been filled in recent months and recruitment is underway for several more vital posts, as the instant approval payday loans company aims to broaden the range of talent and experience within its staff base.

Recent appointments include Carl Mountain, who began his role as Contact Centre Manager in July. He said: “I am really enjoying the new challenge. Customer service and satisfaction is very important to Payday Express and I am pleased to have a pivotal role to play in managing this focus.”

The previous occupant of the post, Chris Gillard, has moved into a Sales Manager role, reporting into Senior Marketing Manager Ashleigh Slade, and is to oversee the creation of a new Account Management team.

Nushin Nahidpour has also recently joined the company as a Digital Marketing Project Manager and will manage various IT projects aimed at improving the company’s digital marketing operations. The first projects she is working on include implementing a blog and an automated news feed on the company website, along with installing new web analytics software.

Recruitment is also in progress for the posts of Marketing Manager, Senior Risk Analyst, Marketing Analyst, and Senior Administrator. A number of Account Managers and Collections Agents will also be required.

Sarah Carroll, Operations Manager at the payday advance loans company, said: “Payday Express recognises how important people are to its success and we are looking forward to growing the team with staff that share our drive and vision, and bring new ideas and experience into the business.”

Via EPR Network
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